A partner agency's perspective on the UK, StudyWorld and fam trips
1 November 2016

Shan Ding works for English UK partner agency scheme member Beijing New Oriental Walkite International Education and Travel Co Ltd.

How did you become an agent?

I was in the travel market and I used to do a lot of Chinese events - we did the Olympic torch relay for the Chinese team in the London Olympics - but I always wanted to do education.

During the London Olympics I placed 750 journalists from Chinese TV in the University of East London. Then we started to do student tours, and I thought: if I can do this; I can do international education. There are many similarities but it is the studying part which is quite new for me. I am enjoying it very much.

What do you like most about the job?

It's very fulfilling, although it's very a hard job taking care of so many students. You feel really good with student programmes, especially when they feel improvement, not only in the English level but culturally.

In my view, many Chinese students are not very independent, they take everything for granted. But we get a lot of feedback from families saying that their children have become more respectful and appreciative of their parents. 

Sometimes the family even ask for the student to be encouraged to become more independent! The change is enormous, and I feel really satisfied.

Have you been on a fam trip after StudyWorld?

Yes, it gave me a lot of insight. We saw a lot of schools and it was a steep learning curve. It was very impressive and it was a good balance of travel visiting and making sure we got good information. Each school was carefully chosen and put into different itineraries. Some of them were small and very well formed and there were also quality programmes.

StudyWorld itself was very informative - I was given a lot of information and the appointment system was really efficient and really good.

Would you recommend the Partner Agency Scheme to other agents?

Yes, I would 100 per cent recommend it. I have already told all the Chinese agents to join. It's very helpful. Many are already considering it. 

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